Q: How do I get a public defender to sit and discuss my felony drug case now I got to make a choice to plea or trial?
My felony dangerous drug case has been going on for 1 1/2 yrs and out of five public defender's who all quit due to "conflict of interest" on their part, has not one of them even asked me about the case or wanted to discuss it so now the other day my public defender texts me telling me they got an offer instead of going to trial and I need to make a decision fast. How do I know if it's the right decision if they don't even know my side or looked at the case I have not been asked not one question this whole time . This is my life we are talking about and alot of time behind bars for my first offense
A: You need to contact your attorney in writing, via email, and ask to sit down to discuss everything. Before the meeting you should request copies of your discovery (police reports, and any evidence the state intends to use to support their case at trial). The attorney should then walk you through what your constitutional rights are, the trial strengths and weaknesses, and potential constitutional violations that should be litigated, and your sentencing exposure (the amount of time you would be looking at in prison if you lost at trial). Then you can compare those things to the outcome listed in the plea agreement. You can also request a settlement conference with the court to review these things with your lawyer present.
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